We frequently get the question: “How far in advance do I need to order to make the package arrival cut-off date?”
If you are shopping from Amazon, Target, or Walmart, the answer is easier because their order processing and shipping times are usually within 2-3 days for most items from when you place your order.
However, a lot of customers like to shop from not only the “Big 3” (for their daily necessities) but other merchants who sell items/brands not available from them.
Today we would like to explain how the online shopping process works. There are 3 steps that most people are not aware of after they click “confirm”.
Order Confirmation – the email the merchant sends as soon as you place the order, usually minutes. This is the email we ask you to forward to us so we can start to monitor packages for your account. Although the merchant may call this a confirmation, in most cases it just means your order was received, but not accepted or processed. At this point your order can be canceled for a few reasons:
Although the above cancelations are rare as most merchants don’t check whether one of these criteria is met, you may or may not be notified your order is canceled if they validate for one of these situations.
Order Processing – the internal processing of the merchant to notify their warehouse of the order and for the warehouse to “pick and pack” the items for your order. Because of COVIT-19, most merchants are taking a longer time to process orders then they did in the past. Most merchants don’t tell you this timeline, or it is in the fine print somewhere on their website. These days with COVIT-19, most merchants have warnings at the top of their website there are longer order processing times, but no mention of how much longer.
Order Shipping – a package is transported from the merchants’ warehouse to the designated shipping address. This is quoted as the estimated “delivery time” when you checkout (note this is always business days), with the clock starting from when the package is picked up. For shipping, there is a two-step process. First the merchant “creates the label”, usually from their warehouse. Essentially tells the courier (FedEx, UPS, USPS) they want to ship a package and the delivery address for that package. Most of the time this is when you get the email you package is shipping and a tracking number you forward to us. The email says, “is shipping”. However, in most cases at this point, the package has not even left the warehouse. The second step in shipping is the actual shipping, the courier picks up the package (in the case of smaller merchants, they may bring the package to a courier drop off location).
A few of you may have experienced this, you get a tracking number, but no package is ever sent, that is because the label is created and somehow the package was never picked up (or delivered to the courier drop off location.
At EgapGO, if you send us your tracking numbers on receipt, we monitor your packages, to make sure your packages make it to our US warehouse. When we notice a package has “stalled”, we notify you, so you can follow up and fix the issue, usually in time to still make your desired sailing.
So, you can see from the above, it is difficult for us to predict how far in advance you should order. If you want to use the free domestic “standard” shipping option and are ordering from other than the Big 3, we recommend at least 10 days. However, the earlier in our cycle the better, especially in these times.